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A combined geomorphological and geophysical approach to characterising relict landslide hazard on the Jurassic Escarpments of Great Britain

Boon, David P.; Chambers, Jonathan E.; Hobbs, Peter R.N.; Kirkham, Matthew; Merritt, Andrew J.; Dashwood, Claire; Pennington, Catherine; Wilby, Philip R.. 2015 A combined geomorphological and geophysical approach to characterising relict landslide hazard on the Jurassic Escarpments of Great Britain. Geomorphology, 248. 296-310. 10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.07.005

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Abstract/Summary

The Jurassic Escarpment in the North York Moors in Northern Britain has a high density of deep-seated relict landslides but their regional hazard is poorly understood due to a lack of detailed case studies. Investigation of a typical relict landslide at Great Fryup Dale suggests that the crop of the Whitby Mudstone Formation is highly susceptible to landslide hazards. The mudstone lithologies along the Escarpment form large multiple rotational failures which break down at an accelerated rate during wetter climates and degrade into extensive frontal mudflows. Geomorphological mapping, high resolution LiDAR imagery, boreholes, and geophysical ERT surveys are deployed in a combined approach to delimit internal architecture of the landslide. Cross-sections developed from these data indicate that the main movement displaced a bedrock volume of c. 1 × 107 m3 with a maximum depth of rupture of c. 50 m. The mode of failure is strongly controlled by lithology, bedding, joint pattern, and rate of lateral unloading. Dating of buried peats using the AMS method suggests that the 10 m thick frontal mudflow complex was last active in the Late Holocene, after c. 2270 ± 30 calendar years BP. Geomorphic mapping and dating work indicates that the landslide is dormant, but slope stability modelling suggests that the slope is less stable than previously assumed; implying that this and other similar landslides in Britain may become more susceptible to reactivation or extension during future wetter climatic phases. This study shows the value of a multi-technique approach for landslide hazard assessment and to enhance national landslide inventories.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.07.005
ISSN: 0169555X
Date made live: 17 Sep 2015 13:58 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/511796

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